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Things to see and do at Hambledon Hill

An aerial view of Hambledon Hill and the surrounding countryside, Dorset in winter
Hambledon Hill and the surrounding countryside, Dorset | © National Trust Images / John Miller

Rich in archaeology and designated a national nature reserve, Hambledon Hill in Dorset gives visitors the opportunity to experience nature and history throughout the seasons. Among the highlights are panoramic views that stretch across three counties and bountiful butterfly spotting opportunities.

Take in the view from the top

Hambledon Hill is one of the most recognisable sites in Dorset, rising steeply to 190 metres above Blackmore Vale and the River Stour. From the summit of the hillfort you’ll have sweeping views across three counties: Dorset, Somerset and Wiltshire. Look for out the footprints of the Iron Age roundhouses at your feet.

Iron Age Hambledon Hill

As one of the best preserved and most notable Iron Age hillforts in Britain, and one of the best-preserved Neolithic landscapes in Europe, Hambledon allow us to step back in time and re-imagine the lives and livelihoods of our ancestors.

The hillfort was built on the main hill, and only from the top can you get a real sense of Hambledon’s prehistoric strategic importance. The defences can still be seen today together with its three ramparts, so look out for these as you explore the site.

Adonis Blue butterfly
Adonis Blue butterfly | © National Trust Images/Matthew Oates

Spot wildlife at Hambledon Hill

The site is of exceptional ecological value as well as archaeological and provides important access opportunities, as well as being of nationally important landscape value. It is a Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI) and a National Nature Reserve.

The hillfort is home to an impressive 28 species of butterfly: the Adonis blue, dark green fritillary and green hairstreak have been recorded on Hambledon Hill.

Birdwatchers might spot blackcaps, buzzards, chiffchaffs, kestrels, meadow pipits, skylarks, white-throat, and willow warblers.

Keep an eye out for brown hares and glow-worms too.

Explore nature at your feet

Hambledon Hill is also considered one of the finest representations of unimproved calcareous grassland in the country and houses many rare species of plant.

This chalk grassland site is home to at least five species of orchids, including the early purple, bee, pyramidal, common spotted and autumn lady’s tresses.

Hambledon Hill, Dorset

Discover more at Hambledon Hill

Find out how to get to Hambledon Hill, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

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